Dworshak Reservoir, Idaho, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Dworshak Reservoir.

If you’re considering Dworshak Reservoir vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Dworshak Reservoir guide!

Dworshak Reservoir visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - West - Idaho - North Central -

Dworshak Reservoir is an excellent outdoor recreation site with a great water playground of over 19,000 acres. Located in northern Idaho near the town of Orofino, it extends into the Bitterroot Mountains for beautiful scenic vistas. While log handling facilities exist today, Dworshak Reservoir is primarily used for recreational tourism, wildlife mitigation and wildlife habitat. Its very diverse outdoor recreational offerings for both summer and winter include water sports, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, swimming and game hunting. Its popularity is evidenced by the more than 140,000 yearly visitors. Lewiston, Idaho is some 35 miles east of the reservoir providing a source of supplies and city amenities.

The Dworshak Dam and Reservoir Project was authorized by Congress in 1962 as a flood control, recreation, wildlife mitigation and hydroelectric power enterprise with construction starting in 1966. It also provides transportation for the timber industry. The 53 mile long reservoir was created by damming the North Fork of the Clearwater River and was completed in 1972. Power generation comes from two 90,000-kilowatt turbines and one 220,000-kilowatt unit, coming online in 1973. Dworshak Dam is the highest straight axis dam in the Western Hemisphere and is the third highest dam in the U.S.

Dworshak Reservoir provides a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities. A proliferation of camp grounds, both developed and primitive, surround the reservoir including Dworshak State Park. Remote mini-campsites are located on the reservoir, providing gorgeous locations for the boater/camper. There are over 200 camping sites, numerous picnic and recreation areas, playgrounds, and swimming areas around the reservoir. A marina provides slips for boating and there a number of boat ramps available.

The major sport fishing in Dworshak Reservoir is the kokonee salmon along with thousands of pounds of trout stocked annually to alleviate the loss of angler days from the dam construction. Dworshak National Fish Hatchery was built by the Corps to provide stockable trout. The Dworshak Fish Hatchery has a design capacity of 420,000 pounds of steelhead trout smolt and there are fish collection facilities at the powerhouse. The Hatchery, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the largest steelhead hatchery in the world – certainly worth a visit. Dworshak Reservoir is obviously a trout and salmon angler’s paradise.

In addition to the fish mitigation efforts, wildlife mitigation concentrating on the Rocky Mountain elk and white-tailed deer. Wildlife viewing is enhanced by a significant variety of bird and other animal species. For the geocachers among us, there are over 15 caches located in the area – some are very easy to find. That GPS receiver will add to your enjoyment!

Dworshak Reservoir is truly an outdoor enthusiasts location, in a gorgeous scenic setting. If you are in central Idaho, you must stop there and partake of its offerings.

Custom Dworshak Reservoir house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Dworshak Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • Playground

Fish species found at Dworshak Reservoir

  • Salmon
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Trout

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Dworshak Reservoir

The Dworshak Reservoir map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Dworshak Reservoir photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Dworshak Reservoir statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 19,824 acres

Shoreline Length: 183 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,480 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,600 feet

Maximum Depth: 650 feet

Water Volume: 3,453,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1972

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Advertise your Dworshak Reservoir vacation rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer homeowners and property managers the opportunity to to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily for accommodations. If you’d like additional details, please contact our advertising team here.


Looking for the Dworshak Reservoir forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Spread the word! Share our Dworshak Reservoir article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!